Who has died from COVID-19 in Canada?

By Naël Shiab
and Daniel Blanchette Pelletier

June 8, 2020

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In this 3D visualization, each particle represents a COVID-19 case in Canada. It includes active cases, recovered cases and deaths.

As of June 7 at 3:30 p.m., 95,699 Canadians have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, but only 35 per cent are still considered sick. Fifty-seven per cent have recovered and eight per cent have died.

With 7,848 deaths, COVID-19 is on track to be the sixth-highest cause of death this year in Canada. In five months, the disease killed as many as the flu, pneumonia and bronchitis do combined in an average year.

The elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are most at risk of dying from COVID-19. The deaths are grouped by age here: 80 and older, 60 to 79, 40 to 59 and 39 and younger.

Those who are 80 and older account for 72 per cent of deaths in Canada. But only 18 per cent of cases are in this age group.

More-often hospitalized, those who are 60 to 79 represent 25 per cent of deaths. The number of infected in this age group is similar to those 80 and over, accounting for 18 per cent of Canada's total.

Those 40 to 59 and 39 and younger only make up three per cent of deaths — despite accounting for 65 per cent of cases.

Women, overrepresented among Canada's elderly, account for 54 per cent of deaths. Men, who are more often found in intensive care, account for 46 per cent of deaths.

The first Canadian was declared to have died of COVID-19 on March 8. At the peak of the crisis, more than 200 people were dying each day. Until now, half of the total deaths were reported in the month of May.

In Quebec, the number of deaths announced each day has started to decline, and deaths have trended downward in Ontario for two weeks. In the rest of Canada, new deaths are more rare.

Note that deaths may have taken place earlier than their recorded date. Furthermore, deaths may not be counted in the same way everywhere. Direct regional comparisons should therefore be made with caution.

More than half of the deaths have been in Quebec and a third in Ontario. Together, the two provinces account for 95 per cent of fatal cases while making up 61 per cent of Canada's population.

With 3,067 deaths, Montreal accounts for 62 per cent of deaths inQuebec. More people have died in the city than in all of Ontario and eight times more than in the rest of Canada.

More than a third of deaths in Ontario are found in Toronto, which has 928 deaths. The deaths are more spread across the province than in Quebec.

Hardest hit have been residences for the elderly. In Quebec, 82 per cent of deaths come from long-term care homes (CHSLDs) and private seniors' residences (RPAs). In Ontario, 63 per cent of deaths have been in long-term care (LTC) homes.

According to official numbers, eight per cent of those who tested positive in Canada have died from the virus. But not all of the infected people in the country have been counted. This means that the virus is likely less lethal than the numbers indicate.

Methodology: Statistics come from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and Public Health Ontario. Daily death numbers are based on our own calculations. Update on June 10: for clarity, we note that we are using the dates that deaths were officially reported, which may differ from the dates they took place.

Naël Shiab, data journalist; Daniel Blanchette Pelletier, reporter; Francis Lamontagne, designer; Melanie Julien, editor. With the help of Colin Harris for the translation.